Where Does the 2020 Presidential Election Stand?


(Photo: AP News)

Musa Jabbour

As we continue to face the threat of COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, it is uncertain where the presidential race stands. There were 32 candidates when the election began. Now, it is down to two. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, and President Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. We are six months away from the election and many are questioning whether it’s going to go on as scheduled or if it’s going to be postponed.

(Photo: Evan Vucc and Matt Rourke/AP Photos)

The big question is, how will the public vote if COVID-19 continues to pose a threat? As the government continues to search for a solution to halt the spread of the virus, numerous people fear that the cure might not be found in time for this election. A Harvard study shows that social distancing measures may need to be implemented until 2022. Additionally, many states, such as Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, and Louisiana, have decided to postpone their presidential primaries until June due to the concern of spreading the deadly virus.

The government is continuing to explore different possibilities if the virus remains a threat to the election, one of which is the ability to vote by mail. Although President Trump has shown contempt for this option, The Atlantic has said that “the legal structure is in place for a mail-voting surge in those decisive states: Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona in the Sun Belt and Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in the Rust Belt.” Many political scientists that specialize in voter turnout agree that this method does not show give an advantage to any one party. Additionally, it is thought that there would be greater voter turnout if this method is implemented.

President Donald Trump argues that “mail ballots are very dangerous for this country because of cheaters. They go collect them. They are fraudulent in many cases.” According to The New York Times, voter fraud is very rare in the United States, as a 2016 report found few credible allegations of fraudulent voting. Former First Lady Michelle Obama and many other voting rights activists have called for expanded vote-by-mail options amid social distancing efforts.

Since canceling the election is prohibited by the Constitution, a possible option for Congress is to postpone the date of the election. However, as of now, according to a federal statute, the election will happen on the first Tuesday of November. Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner said that he “cannot commit to a date [for the election]” in an interview on May 13. This has raised a discussion about whether postponing the ballot would be a more beneficial decision to the safety of the public. Although it may be a possibility, many think this is unlikely to happen since there are still six months left to go before the election and the situation may change.

All in all, as of right now, it is uncertain what the government will do about the election, as it is up to Congress to make a decision. Until then, it is essential that the public continues to follow social distancing measures and keep up with any news regarding the 2020 presidential election.